In addition to being used as a medicine, ginger is used throughout the world as an important cooking spice. It also has been used to help treat the common cold, flu-like symptoms, headaches, and painful menstrual periods.
Ginger is native to Asia where it has been used as a cooking spice for at least 4,400 years.
Ginger is a knotted, thick, beige underground stem, called a rhizome. The stem sticks up about 12 inches above ground with long, narrow, ribbed, green leaves, and white or yellowish-green flowers.
The important active components of the ginger root are thought to be volatile oils and pungent phenol compounds (such as gingerols and shogaols).
Today, health care professionals may recommend ginger to help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting from motion sickness, pregnancy, and cancer chemotherapy. It is also used as a digestive aid for mild stomach upset, to reduce pain of osteoarthritis, and may even be used in heart disease or cancer.
Several studies -- but not all -- suggest that ginger may work better than placebo in reducing some symptoms of motion sickness. In one trial of 80 new sailors who were prone to motion sickness, those who took powdered ginger had less vomiting and cold sweating compared to those who took placebo. Ginger did not reduce nausea, however. Similar results were found in a study with healthy volunteers.
However, other studies have found that ginger does not work as well as medications in reducing symptoms of motion sickness. In one small study, participants were given either fresh root or powdered ginger, scopolamine, a medication commonly prescribed for motion sickness, or placebo. Those who took scopolamine had fewer symptoms than those who took ginger. Conventional prescription and over-the-counter medicines that decrease nausea may also have side effects, such as dry mouth and drowsiness.
Pregnancy-Related Nausea and Vomiting
Human studies suggests that 1g daily of ginger may be effective for nausea and vomiting in pregnant women when used for short periods (no longer than 4 days). Several studies have found that ginger is better than placebo in relieving morning sickness.
In a small study of 30 pregnant women with severe vomiting, those who took 1 gram of ginger every day for 4 days reported more relief from vomiting than those who took placebo. In a larger study of 70 pregnant women with nausea and vomiting, those who received a similar dosage of ginger felt less nauseous and did not vomit as much as those who received placebo. Pregnant women should ask their doctor before taking ginger, and should be careful not take more than 1g per day.
A few studies suggest that ginger reduces the severity and duration of nausea -- but not vomiting -- during chemotherapy. However, one of the studies used ginger in combination with another anti-nausea drug, so it' s hard to say whether ginger had any effect. More studies are needed.
Nausea and vomiting after surgery
Research is mixed as to whether ginger can help reduce nausea and vomiting following surgery. Two studies found that 1g of ginger root before surgery reduced nausea as well as a leading medication. In one of these studies, women who received ginger also needed fewer medications for nausea after surgery. But other studies have found that ginger didn' t help reduce nausea. In fact, one study found that ginger may actually increase vomiting following surgery. More research is needed.
Ginger extract has long been used in traditional medical practices to reduce inflammation. And there is some evidence that ginger may help reduce pain from osteoarthritis (OA). In a study of 261 people with OA of the knee, those who took a ginger extract twice daily had less pain and needed fewer pain-killing medications than those who received placebo. But another study found that ginger was no better than ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or placebo in reducing symptoms of OA. It may take several weeks to see any effect.
Ginger products are made from fresh or dried ginger root, or from steam distillation of the oil in the root. The herb is available in extracts, tinctures, capsules, and oils. Fresh ginger root can also be purchased and prepared as a tea. Ginger is also a common cooking spice and can be found in a variety of foods and drinks, including ginger bread, ginger snaps, ginger sticks, and ginger ale.
Don' t give ginger to children under 2.
Ginger may be used by children over 2 years of age to treat nausea, stomach cramping, and headaches. Ask your doctor to help you determine the right dose.
In general, don' t take more than 4g of ginger per day, including food sources. Pregnant women should not take more than 1g per day.
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health care provider qualified in the field of botanical medicine.
Side effects from ginger are rare, but if taken in high doses the herb may cause mild heartburn, diarrhea, and irritation of the mouth. You may be able to avoid some of the mild stomach side effects, such as belching, heartburn, or stomach upset, by taking ginger supplements in capsules.
People with gallstones should ask their doctor before taking ginger. Make sure to tell your doctor if you are taking ginger and will be having surgery or placed under anesthesia for any reason.
People with heart conditions and people with diabetes should not take ginger without asking their doctors.
Pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding should talk to their doctor before taking ginger.
Do not take ginger if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are taking blood-thinning medications, including aspirin.
Ginger may alter the effects of some prescription and nonprescription medications. If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use ginger without first talking to your health care provider.
Blood-thinning medications -- Ginger may increase the risk of bleeding. Talk to your doctor before taking ginger if you take blood-thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin.
Diabetes medications -- Ginger may lower blood sugar, raising the risk of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
High blood pressure medications -- Ginger may lower blood pressure, raising the risk of low blood pressure or irregular heartbeat.
African ginger; Black ginger; Jamaican ginger; Zingiber officinale
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Is a zingiberaceae which rhizome has an aromatic smell with spicy, citric, camphor, hot and dry character. It is believed that it comes from India, and that it was introduced to China a long time ago. Both cultures have used it as a spice and as a medicine from far-off times. The Ginger has been used during thousand of years, particularly in India, China and Japan, for its important medicine properties regarding pharmaceutical preparations. There are many evidences of its use in Sanskrit literature in Chinese medicine treaties. In the Chinese literature it is considered a Yan (Hot Herb). Its original name is in Sanskrit language “Zingebera”: Said name originated the Greek name “Zingiberi” and thereafter in Latin language“Zingiberis Officinalis” and was brought by the
Spanish after the Discovery of America.
GALENO, a well-known Greek physician used it as a medicine for correcting the mood, defects of the body and for treating the paralysis caused by and excess of phlegm. AVICENA, a Greek physician recommended it as aphrodisiac since it is highly beneficial in the sexual weakness treatment.
It stimulates the blood circulation, it relaxes the peripheral blood vessels, it contributes to sweating, expectoration, it is anti-emetic, antispasmodic, carminative, antiseptic, analgesic and aphrodisiac.
GINGER COMPONENTS AND ITS PROPERTIES
ASPARAGINA: It contributes to the urine emission.
BORNEOL: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, it reduces fever, and protects the liver.
CIMENO: It works against influenza, viruses, fungus and insects.
CINEOL: Anesthetic, it cures infections of the chest, throat and cough, antiseptic, it reduces blood pressure.
CITRAL: Antihistamine, antibiotic.
GERANIAL: Anticandida, anti-insects.
GINGEROL: Analgesic, it reduces fever, stimulates the circulation, reduces blood pressure, treats and relieves the stomach.
SHOGOAL: Analgesic, it reduces fever, sedative, constricts blood vessels, and raises the blood pressure.
PINEMO: It helps to expel the phlegm, anti-insects.
MIRCENO: Antibacterial y anti-insects, muscle relaxing.
LINANOL: Anticonvulsive, antiseptic.
Qualities of Ginger
The major active ingredients in ginger are terpenes and oleoresin called ginger oil. These two, and other active ingredients in ginger, provide antiseptic, lymph-cleansing, circulation, and constipation relief qualities.
Some of the problems cured by Ginger
Kills influenza virus by improving immune system's ability to fight infections. Ginger also relieves headaches. Increases the muscular contractions of the heart atria, there by increase in overall circulation. Ginger has been proven to prevent internal blood clots and lowers blood pressure. Ginger Root stimulates the central nervous system controlling the heart and respiratory centers. Ginger helps reduce serum cholesterol, which can slow down circulation.
Ginger Relieves Motion/Morning Sickness
Ginger is one of the most effective herbal remedies to get rid of Motion/ Morning Sickness.
Digestive Aid - Indigestion, Stomach Ache
Ginger Root increases production of saliva in the mouth and dramatically increases digestive enzyme amylase in the saliva to additionally aid digestion. Ginger Root also contains a very effective digestive enzyme zingibain.
Ginger Root is good for the uterus as well as the intestinal tract and may ease menstrual cramps
Very cleansing - reduces pus in infected wounds as well as boils. Clears spots caused by chicken pox and shingles. Useful for burns, sores, sunburn, ringworm, warts, herpes, athletes foot and even for dandruff.
Ginger Root appears to limit the effects of adrenergic stimulation and there by relieves the stress
As Ginger root is a proven anti-inflammatory agent, some arthritic victims may find it helpful.
Ginger is sometimes recommended as an alternative to aspirin for people who can not take aspirin because of its irritating effect on the gastrointestinal tract.
Asthma - Adults
Insect Bites / Stings
Skin Conditions - Antiseptic
The effect of daily use means stay away from flu,colds and throat irritation